Oxford boss Karl Robinson was delighted to be able to mark his 500th game as a manager with a vital win as the U’s saw off Tranmere 3-0 at the Kassam Stadium.
It was only Oxford’s second League One win of the campaign and their first since August 10.
James Henry converted a penalty in each half, after Tariqe Fosu and then Shandon Baptiste were fouled, either side of a fine 70th-minute strike by Cameron Brannagan.
Robinson said: “I was quite nervous before the game. It was a weird one today – because this is not about me. I don’t like to be the centre of attention.
“I never expected someone like me, with the background I had, to get to this milestone. It’s quite humbling.
“And I was 39 yesterday so it’s a double reason to go and have a drink.
“It’s a great job to have. I wouldn’t swap it for the world.”
Henry has converted eight penalties out of eight, so it is understandable that he had strict instructions to take the spot kicks, even though both Fosu and then sub Matty Taylor were desperate to have a go.
“I was trying to think whether, in my 500 games, I have ever had a better penalty taker, or one I have had more confidence in, that James Henry, and I don’t think so,” Robinson said.
“They were both fair decisions, both blatant penalties, with the second one a great bit of skill from Shandon.
“I wanted us not just to win but to play well, and we dominated all the game apart from a 10-minute spell in the second half.
“I felt that air of confidence because I know how well we had trained during the week.
“We’ve got a lot more to come from us. Now we’ve got to get that first away win of the season on Tuesday.”
Tranmere manager Micky Mellon, whose side are winless in four games, said: “We know we’re a learning team.
“We keep speaking about the tempo and taking responsibility for changing and dealing with a change in tempo.
“Up until what to me was a soft first penalty, it was a drab game. The penalty was a big turning point in the game.
“Come the second half we couldn’t really get any spark going to inject any intensity into us. We’ve got to be better than that.
“But it’s a development for us. What is important to me is knowing what we weren’t good at today.
“We will get the boys recovered and get back to people taking that responsibility and playing with more fire.”